An Open Letter to Max Bemis From a Loving Fan

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cvankeeken
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An Open Letter to Max Bemis From a Loving Fan

Postby cvankeeken » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:45 pm

Hello!

My name is Chloe, you don’t know me, but I’ve been a fan of yours since the first time I heard “I Want to Know Your Plans.” Sitting on the generic two-seater couch I had become accustomed to at my fancier than thou boarding school. My friend Meredith playing me songs from Punk Goes Acoustic, the peppy fiddling from Yellowcard’s “Firewater” still fresh in my brain. Meredith paused the CD on her computer to play me a song from a band she had just head of. I was thinking about Graeme Parker who I spent the whole year “will they or won’t they’ing” with when I first heard the line “and if you want roses, you can go buy a bouquet”. I was intrigued. Who was this man-boy singing words of such disgusted love? At first listen, it was a romantic song. But when I asked Meredith to replay it and listened closely the song played more like a hopeless plea from boy that was overly dependent on a girl. How interesting. A song about young love’s torment and promise.

Meredith and I quickly searched for more music. Upon hearing “Alive with the Glory of Love” with it’s quick-drum intro and sock-hop catchiness I realized that this was another song about an endless desire to remain with a loved one. We listened to the rest of “… Is a Real Boy” in one sitting, while we tried to figure out where we could see this band in concert. Eventually, I started to notice a theme. Here was a boy in turmoil. So lost in himself that he clung to others in an attempt to make sense of the world. Just like me.

The time I spent at boarding school, grades 9 to 11, was wracked with emotional instability. Having gone off Prozac in the summer before grade 10 I was swarmed with conflicting emotions. I wanted to be myself AND be happy but the two never seemed to coincide. I would often call my mum collect from the pay phone in my residence, crying for hours with her on the other end unable to offer me solace. And when it got worse I would sneak into the bathroom late at night and cut my upper thighs with Venus razors, high enough that no one would ever see them, feeling momentary relief as blood rolled down my leg. Not stopping until the water was an acceptable shade of red. I was in more pain than I could understand at the time. Pain I couldn’t vocalize or share with anyone. But when I heard your voice, your lyrics, on that fateful day in grade 10, I finally felt understood. I was no longer the only one in pain.

I contracted whooping cough that winter, which is known in China as the 100 day cough. I was sick for a while. My father was living in Los Angeles at the time and wanted me to see a specialist there so I flew down for my March break. The doctor didn’t tell me anything and I was put on another round of antibiotics and sent home. It didn’t stop the coughing though and while my father and step-mother went to a party on the other side of the hills I was alone at home coughing so hard I was throwing up. My brother called my dad, worried I was going to throw up my own lungs, which I’m not sure is even possible, but besides the point. Dad was busy at his party and would be home soon. So, brother brought me a laptop and told me to talk to some friends online to distract myself. I logged onto AIM and I saw that you were online. I forgot that I had added a screen name claiming to be you in one of Meredith and I’s Say Anything flurries and there you were, SayAnything16, the little running man icon beside the name. I only had one question I wanted to ask, other than the obligatory I love you, will you marry me, etc. I had heard of a movie called Say Anything with one of my favourite actors John Cusack. I wanted to know what the connection was. So I asked. And I waited and waited and then finally the telltale AIM message sound. I hadn’t been this excited since I met Jonathan Taylor Thomas on the set of Home Improvement when I was 9. You responded; yes there was a correlation between the band and the movie. I was ecstatic, feeling as if I had cracked some code, willing the conversation to last well into the night while I slowly beguiled you with my mind. That didn’t happen, in fact I didn’t hear from you again. But, it’s amazing how one moment of interaction can affect you. Four typed lines in virtual conversation and I felt better. Not in a miraculous cure way but in a comfort way. I could get through this night, hacking away, riding high on the fact that for one moment our lives intersected. That was enough for me.

Which brings me to my point. I hope you excuse me when I say, I wish you would re-think being in contact with your fans. I understand how hard it must be to recover from mental illness, a lifelong process I know all too well, and hear people speak badly of you, your work, or your life. To deal with “haters” on a regular basis, especially in technological times when you are more accessible, must be very defeating and sad making. But there are still those of us who adore you. Who wish you nothing but the best in your life, no matter the decisions you make. The people you have affected greatly, just as you say Saves The Day affected you. There are still people out there who wish to speak to you, to connect with you, and not just in 140 character bursts, or for $150 dollars with a cheaper $75 dollar option. Now, you many not feel like you can or want to connect with your fans in the same way as before, for whatever reason and I can understand that, I wouldn’t want to make you uncomfortable. I just wanted to remind you that while there are “haters” there are lovers too. And the lovers really love you.

My dad asked me what I would do if I woke up tomorrow to find out you had killed yourself. While I doubt that would happen, I know that none of us are immune and the battle is never ending. So, I thought about what it would mean to me if you decided to end your own life. I would be devastated, not only for the world and myself but for Sherri, for your family, and your band. But then I realized that my adoration isn’t about the physical manifestation of you but the journey that that manifestation took and how it made my own journey less lonely. Knowing that even one other person felt how I felt and used those feelings in a positive creative way made all the difference. I have always felt like an outcast. I don’t make friends easily and I have never had someone to confide in or to tell me that my feelings or experiences are valid, other than my shrink. But you, your music, your lyrics, and your experiences have helped me validate my own experiences and feelings. And for this, I thank you.
I have a strange infirmity, which is nothing to those that know me.

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Scott
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Re: An Open Letter to Max Bemis From a Loving Fan

Postby Scott » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:42 pm

She showed me this earlier and I have to say the message is nice

tl:dr is Max should connect more with fans like he used too
Self-inflicted or not, I find myself on the farthest star, foreign to everything like I woke up with a German tongue.

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cvankeeken
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Re: An Open Letter to Max Bemis From a Loving Fan

Postby cvankeeken » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:06 pm

Thanks, Scott!
I have a strange infirmity, which is nothing to those that know me.

ChristieL
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Re: An Open Letter to Max Bemis From a Loving Fan

Postby ChristieL » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:45 pm

That letter is beautiful. Thanks for sharing! I wrote a letter to Max a while ago in my journal with similar sentiments. Mine was not nearly as well written though.

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Re: An Open Letter to Max Bemis From a Loving Fan

Postby ThemDyingEars » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:27 am

I love this. So, so, so much.

That's interesting about the suicide thing. I mean, I've "loved" famous people before who have died or whatever. But Max isn't a "famous people." He's Max. The dude who understands every single person on this site. I love this letter, I wish we could get it to him somehow. The truth is that I'm pretty terrified of the idea that he could turn me down if I were to meet him. I have a Song Shop call waiting, and I was going to ask "Is it okay with you to say hi to you at a show?"

It's such a tough thing because, on one hand, a lot of us know exactly how it is with the social anxiety and all that stuff. But on the other hand it's like...we know exactly how it is! I for one would love to discuss it with this man that I hold on an unreachable pedestal in my head. Not necessarily because he's the perfect role model, but just because he's so awesome.

Once again, thank you SO much for posting this. It's so rad. I want to hug it.

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Re: An Open Letter to Max Bemis From a Loving Fan

Postby mjjcap » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:37 am

Which brings me to my point. I hope you excuse me when I say, I wish you would re-think being in contact with your fans. I understand how hard it must be to recover from mental illness, a lifelong process I know all too well, and hear people speak badly of you, your work, or your life. To deal with “haters” on a regular basis, especially in technological times when you are more accessible, must be very defeating and sad making. But there are still those of us who adore you. Who wish you nothing but the best in your life, no matter the decisions you make. The people you have affected greatly, just as you say Saves The Day affected you. There are still people out there who wish to speak to you, to connect with you, and not just in 140 character bursts, or for $150 dollars with a cheaper $75 dollar option. Now, you many not feel like you can or want to connect with your fans in the same way as before, for whatever reason and I can understand that, I wouldn’t want to make you uncomfortable. I just wanted to remind you that while there are “haters” there are lovers too. And the lovers really love you.


And the comment above mine, being rejected by Max is a frightening thing for me too. And like this quote from 'the letter' I really wish he could see that if he gave me one second of his time id be forever grateful and promise not to hate on his music or any other aspect of his life and then again if he can't it's completely understandable and I won't hold it against him, because I may not know exactly what it's like but I know stress and anxiety very well, so pretty much knowing that he stills makes heart felt music that actually has meaning is good enough for me
"Let me tell you about the love I have, cause its growing by the moment & I'd murder you to hold his hand. See I don't even know this boy, but I want him so bad. Oh so bad..."

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cvankeeken
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Re: An Open Letter to Max Bemis From a Loving Fan

Postby cvankeeken » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:54 pm

Thank you guys SO MUCH for reacting the way you did. I was nervous to share this but also excited. We're all SA/Max lovers and I hav faith in all of us to be kind. I twitter this to Max and Sherri, if you guys want to help me get this to him I would be forever greatful. I hope to represent all SA/MAX fans who feel the way I do.

If you want to share this letter you can find it here: http://www.chloevankeeken.com/?p=684

Thanks again guys! Love you all!
I have a strange infirmity, which is nothing to those that know me.

you're fine
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Re: An Open Letter to Max Bemis From a Loving Fan

Postby you're fine » Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:17 pm

I went to their tour on Thursday and after say anything got done playing i immediately went out to where their tour busses were (fuck motion city). I was the only one back there beside like two staff people. The first person to come out was Coby. So i sat and talked to him for like 15 minutes.... then max came out. He was clearly the guy I was there to see... he literally ran to his tour bus. I didnt know what to say so i was like MAX! Thank you! He kind of turned as he was running and said - no, thank you. Then he dissapeared into the bus. Coby and I talked for another couple minutes and then I asked him what max was doing. and coby said he was probably just lying down. So i said my good byes and went home. The more i think about it the more pissed I got. with 5 minutes of his time he could have made my year. I could have died a happy man. but no, he needed to run to his tour bus to relax.


ugh... that was just me ranting. I still love max and I understand that he is a complicated dude. just bummed me out. so technically i got rejected by max bemis.... coby was reallly cool though

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Scott
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Re: An Open Letter to Max Bemis From a Loving Fan

Postby Scott » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:40 pm

lol all these reports of max running... he must be in good shape
Self-inflicted or not, I find myself on the farthest star, foreign to everything like I woke up with a German tongue.

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Norgan
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Re: An Open Letter to Max Bemis From a Loving Fan

Postby Norgan » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:18 pm

Scott wrote:lol all these reports of max running... he must be in good shape

I lol'd
Norgan is a real boy!


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